Claflin reaching new heights, president says
By: JALIAH ROBINSON
Sep 18, 2022
Claflin President Dwaun J. Warmack speaks at matriculation day on Sept. 15. (Photo special to The Panther)
Matriculation day is about Claflin celebrating the transformational work that is happening at this institution as well as kicking off the school year, the university president said.
On Sept. 15, Claflin held the 154th matriculation day convocation. The ceremony took place in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Center’s Tullis Arena. The ninth president, Dwaun J. Warmack, gave the keynote address.
“This great institution continues to focus on an elevation and transformation agenda,” Warmack said.
According to US News & World Report, for the 12th year straight Claflin is in the top 10 for HBCUs in the country. The university is ranked number nine nationally.
“So what does that make us in the State of South Carolina? The number one HBCU in the state of South Carolina,” Warmack said.
Warmack said in years prior, Claflin was not ranked among regional liberal arts institutions for social mobility. “Because of the transformative work we have done, this year Claflin moved to national ranking among liberal art institutions.”
Claflin now ranks 20 among all national liberal arts institutions for social mobility.
Warmack gave an overview of the new student center as well as announced plans for a new crest building, student apartments at Railroad Corner, and a biotech/cyber security building on campus.
“We are laser focused on ensuring that Claflin continues to prepare in a way that makes us one of the top regional institutions in the country that just happens to be an HBCU,” Warmack said. “We want to compete with everyone in the nation.”
Warmack said the sophomore class retention rate is a historic number for the university. It is the highest in school history, reaching 81%.
Claflin operates on the mantra of Claflin confidence, which transforms to Claflin magic, Warmack said, challenging the class of 2026 to surpass the sophomore class retention rate and encouraging them to carry on the mantle of success.
Warmack led the freshman class in a call-to-action chant to commemorate the beginning of the school year.
“I am my brother’s, my sister’s keeper. I will lift as I climb. I will not leave you behind. We all will graduate in four years, three years. 2026 will be a magnificent year,” Warmack said. “You spoke it into existence so you gotta believe it.”
Warmack concluded saying that everything the class of 2026 needs to succeed is at their fingertips.
“Your years here at Claflin will be your fondest years if you utilize the resources that are here for you. We are committed to helping you be successful,” Warmack said.